Little Maserati is likely to have some big news coming out of Geneva this week – and we’re not talking about the debut of the Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition. Yes, okay, there will likely be more than enough buyers to snap up that special model, of which just 100 will be made, marking the Italian marques 100th anniversary – but the reason we expect to be fighting for space at the Geneva Motor Show preview is the anticipation that Maserati is ready to reveal its answer to the hot-selling Jaguar F-Type.
That would be perfectly in line with the Italian maker’s growing ambitions – and fast-expanding line-up, which recently saw the launch of the all-new Ghibli and a new version of the Quattroporte coupe.
For its part, Maserati isn’t saying much more than is needed to whet everyone’s appetite, hinging that there will be “the much talked about unveiling of a new concept car outlining the Maseratis of the next 100 years.”
The reason the concept is so “much talked about” may be all the hints that CEO Harald Wester has been dropping in recent months. In an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com in December, Wester suggested “there are some interesting niches out there,” while all but declaring his goal to take on the likes of the F-Type and the Porsche 911 in several other recent interviews.
After years of near invisibility, Maserati has been gaining considerable momentum this last year with the updated Quattroporte and the all-new Ghibli. U.S. volumes have roughly tripled in recent months, and the maker, said Wester, is expecting to hit 50,000 for the first time ever in 2015.
(Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte both finalists for World Luxury Car of the Year. Click Here for more.)
Considering the demand for the new F-Type, a successful entry into that segment could push it even higher, what with the Levante SUV on tap for the second half of 2015, and updates to the rest of the Maserati line-up now in process.
But that raises some questions about how a Maserati F-Type fighter would fit in the line-up. Most likely it would repeat the formula of the Ghibli which was conceived as a sort of “baby” Quattroporte. A Jaguar competitor would almost certainly come in a notch below the next-generation Maserati Gran Turismo, with a price tag many expect to be as low as $70,000.
(Sales soaring, Maserati nonetheless shakes up management. Click Herefor the story.)
According to one frequent source of Maserati inside news, both V-6 and V-8 engines could be offered on an F-Type alternative, most likely in a front-engine, rear-drive configuration.
Stay tuned. We should have more to report in the next couple days.
(Click Here to check out the new Ferrari California T coming to the Geneva Motor Show.)